What do you do when you’re fifteen and live on an estate where you get street cred for being in a gang? What do you do when you’ve got the chance of a decent future but the pull of the gang is too strong? And what are you gonna do when one of the gang passes you a gun and tells you, honour is at stake; use the gun to show you’re one of us?
Terriers is a play which deals with these problems. Aldo is bright, witty, and a gifted sportsman. His family has high hopes for him, but he’s having a tough time trying to break away from his mates who want him to be in his local gang, The Terriers.
Not that he’s too scared to join, but they are involved in a tit for tat gang war with a crew just across the avenue called The DH Crew. Terriers explores the immense pressure Aldo, and boys like him, are under from gang mates and his girlfriend.
The play throws up the moral dilemmas and life changing decisions that some young boys and girls have to make. The show was originally commissioned by Merseyside Police in 2008 using partnership funding, and to date over 120,000 young people from secondary and primary schools across Merseyside and the U.K. have seen the play and studied the primary and secondary educational packages.
Written by Maurice Bessman and directed by Miriam Mussa, the show has been used by Merseyside Police as a way of reaching young people.
As well as touring secondary and primary schools across Merseyside we have also had partnerships in Croydon, Hampshire, Telford and Manchester
“I would like to see Terriers rolled out across all schools and communities. If we had more resources we could find ways to deal with these issues and this type of innovative theatre is a key resource.” Jane Kennedy, Merseyside Police and Crime Commisioner.
Neil Harris, Senior Relationship Manager, Arts Council England said
‘Since Terriers was commissioned by Merseyside Police in 2008, it has been seen by huge numbers of people. Highlighting issues such as gun and gang crime that are faced by young people it is a thought-provoking and moving play and I’m delighted that we have funded it through our Strategic Touring programme again so that it can reach an even larger audience in a range of venues across the North West and Midlands.’
Terrier’s 2 – Eve’s Story is the sequel to Terriers.
Eve’s Story was written in 2018, as a direct response to the success of Terriers.
Young people, in particular young women, after engaging with Terriers continue to ask what happens to the character Eve. After consultation with partners including Liverpool Cultural Education Partnership, Merseyside Police, community workers and young people, writer Maurice Bessman developed the piece.
The play is a sequel to Terriers, but can be watched as a standalone piece, it highlights issues surrounding absenteeism, knife crime and child exploitation (CE).
We are working in partnership with Crimestoppers to deliver the next tour of Terriers and Eve’s Story.
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